Hey, I’m Catalina!

Ahoj! My name is Catalina Casillas and this summer I’m traveling to the Czech Republic to study the human rights regime. I was originally born in Plano, Texas, near Dallas and Austin, which are Asian and Latino cultural hubs. Being raised in a biracial family spending my formative years in areas with so much cultural hybridization inspired me to continue a global journey by majoring in International Affairs. Several years after I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, I took a great leap and left behind my friends, family, and home to study abroad in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture.

I know what it’s like to be a stranger in a foreign city. At the same time, I also know what it’s like to call a foreign city home. That’s why this summer I’m taking another great leap again by traveling to Prague. I’ve never step foot on the European continent before, so I am so excited to explore my host country and beyond. I will be taking two classes, Human Rights Violations and Genocide in 20th Century Europe and Topics on International Human Rights. The field of human rights is a massive subject that has entire dedicated libraries of literature. Through this experience, I am hoping to get an introduction to this field as it aligns with my interests pursuing my degree and eventually researching and working with people suffering from human rights violations. I am also hoping that this experience will help me to narrow down my educational and career goals so that when I return to Florida, I will have a better sense of who I am and where I’m going.

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